Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 21, 2013
Differences in bone healing in old mice may hold answers to better bone healing for seniors
By studying the underlying differences in gene expression during healing after a bone break in young versus aged mice, Jaimo Ahn, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and his colleagues aim to find specific pathways of fracture healing in humans.

Planck challenges our understanding of the Universe
New maps provide excellent evidence for our standard model of cosmology.

Genetic analysis calls for the protection of 2 highly endangered Portuguese fish species
A chromosome study of the endemic Portuguese fish Squalius aradensis and S. torgalensis draws attention to their current status of highly endangered species.

Poor kidney response to hormone may increase risks for kidney disease patients
Suboptimal kidney response to the hormone FGF-23 may put chronic kidney disease patients at an increased risk of premature death and cardiovascular events.

Healthy lifestyle linked with longer survival among kidney disease patients
Among individuals with chronic kidney disease, adherence to a healthy lifestyle was associated with a greater likelihood of surviving over a 13-year period.

European Guidance for the diagnosis & management of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women
A new Guidance published by the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and the International Osteoporosis Foundation reflects the most current developments in the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis.

CWRU-led teams win funding for 2 manufacturing projects
Case Western Reserve University and partners have won funding for two projects with the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute.

Telehealth unlikely to be cost effective for patients with long term conditions
Telehealth does not seem to be a cost effective addition to standard support and treatment for patients with long term conditions, finds a study published on today.

Impressive list of research teams for the 2013 HFSP Research Grants
The International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO) is awarding $34 million to the 33 winning teams of the 2013 competition for the HFSP Research Grants.

Understanding the continuous corn yield penalty
As escalating corn prices have encouraged many farmers to switch to growing corn continuously, they wonder why they have been seeing unusually high yield reductions over the past several years.

Study shows that blocking an inflammation pathway prevents cardiac fibrosis
New research from UC Davis published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that blocking an enzyme that promotes inflammation can prevent the tissue damage following a heart attack that often leads to heart failure.

Health care quality measurement for doctors' offices needs improvement
In its 2001 report Crossing the Quality Chasm, the Institute of Medicine outlined six domains of quality in medical care: safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, efficiency and equity.

American Thoracic Society to host free patient events during international conference in May
Philadelphia - The American Thoracic Society (ATS) will hold its seventh annual patient-focused forums,

Stem cells use signal orientation to guide division, Stanford study shows
Cells in the body need to be acutely aware of their surroundings.

Docking technique to repair torn elbow ligament yields favorable results in teen baseball players
A study at Hospital for Special Surgery found that a surgical procedure known as the

Study: Serious mental illness no barrier to weight loss success
Through a program that teaches simple nutrition messages and involves both counseling and regular exercise classes, people with serious mental illness can make healthy behavioral changes and achieve significant weight loss, according to new Johns Hopkins research.

Prevention of heart disease requires professionals to go out into communities
There's a tendency to think that just because you are holding a clinic, people will come to them.

Adults worldwide eat almost double daily AHA recommended amount of sodium
Adults worldwide consume almost double the daily recommended amount of sodium (salt).

Genes may be reason some kids are picky about food
Parents may plead, cajole or entice their children to try new foods, but some kids just won't budge.

Conservationists get SMART with poachers
A community of conservation organizations announced today a free software tool for wildlife managers specifically designed to stop poaching.

Scientists create new tools for battling secondhand smoke
Dartmouth researchers have made a breakthrough in secondhand smoke exposure technology.

The Human Frontier Science Program selects new heads of start-up laboratories
The International Human Frontier Science Program Organization has selected eight of its fellowship holders to receive the highly sought after Career Development Award (CDA).

New web portal on health research in Europe
Brussels, 21 March 2013 - The Horizon Health web portal ( has been officially launched today by Professor Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Advisor, European Commission, in the presence of the communication representatives of leading research institutions in Europe.

Scripps Research study underlines potential of new technology to diagnose disease
Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Fla., have developed cutting-edge technology that can successfully screen human blood for disease markers.

Researchers' new method may sharpen microscopic images
UT Dallas researchers are developing a new low-light imaging method that could improve a number of scientific applications, including the microscopic imaging of molecules in cancer research.

98 percent of total knee replacement patients return to life, work following surgery
Ninety-eight percent of total knee replacement patients who were working before surgery returned to work after surgery, and of those patients, 89 percent returned to their previous position, according to new research presented today at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Most pre-packaged meals, snacks for toddlers contain too much salt
Most pre-packaged meals and snacks for toddlers contain high amounts of sodium.

Platelet-rich plasma significantly improves outcomes in patients with tennis elbow
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy has been used to manage pain associated with torn tendons, muscles and ligaments, mostly in athletes, at all levels, though the evidence to support its efficacy is weak.

Genetic risk strategies needed for young, black, female breast cancer patients, Moffitt study shows
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues in Canada have published study results focused on black women younger than 50, a population disproportionately afflicted with and dying from early-onset breast cancer compared to their white counterparts.

Updated guide to help policy makers, providers fight cardiovascular disease
The American Heart Association has compiled recommendations for policy makers and advocates to improve cardiovascular health at the community level.

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation awards nearly $4 million in new NARSAD grants
The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (formerly NARSAD, the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression) announces approximately $4 million in new research grants.

Megavolcanoes tied to pre-dinosaur mass extinction
Scientists examining evidence across the world say they have linked the abrupt disappearance of half of earth's species 200 million years ago to a precisely dated set of gigantic volcanic eruptions.

Do disruptions in brain communication have a role in autism?
A new study of patterns of brain communication in toddlers with autism shows evidence of aberrant neural communication even at this relatively early stage of brain development.

Road traffic pollution as serious as passive smoke in the development of childhood asthma
New research conducted in 10 European cities has estimated that 14 percent of chronic childhood asthma is due to exposure to traffic pollution near busy roads.

Novel insights into the evolution of protein networks
System-wide networks of proteins are indispensable for organisms. Function and evolution of these networks are among the most fascinating research questions in biology.

Cancer drug shortages mean higher costs and greater risk for patients
A national survey of health professionals showed that drug shortages are taking a heavy toll on cancer patients, forcing treatment changes and delays that for some patients meant worse outcomes, more therapy-related complications and higher costs.

Physical therapy as effective as surgery for torn meniscus and arthritis of the knee
A New England Journal of Medicine study showing that physical therapy is just as effective as surgery in patients with meniscal tears and arthritis of the knee should encourage many health care providers to reconsider their practices in the management of this common injury, according to the American Physical Therapy Association.

New ASTRO white paper recommends peer review to increase quality assurance and safety
ASTRO has issued a new white paper,

The 2013 HFSP postdoctoral fellowship awards
The International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO) is pleased to announce the names of the recipients of HFSP international postdoctoral fellowships for 2013 following a rigorous selection process in a global competition.

Do I know you? Memory patterns help us recall the social webs we weave, finds new Cornell study
With a dizzying number of ties in our social networks -- that your Aunt Alice is a neighbor of Muhammad who is married to Natasha who is your wife's boss -- it's a wonder we remember any of it.

BUSM researchers identify chemical compounds that halt virus replication
Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine have identified a new chemical class of compounds that have the potential to block genetically diverse viruses from replicating.

Genetics, age and ethnicity are risk factors in PCa, say experts
Genetics, age and ethnicity are risk factors for prostate cancer, while the evidence for obesity, smoking and diabetes as associated risks remains uncertain, according to prostate cancer experts.

Multiple sclerosis research: The thalamus moves into the spotlight
At the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology today, UB researchers will discuss a study performed in collaboration with colleagues from Charles University in Prague.

Berkeley Lab researchers use metamaterials to observe giant photonic spin hall effect
Engineering a unique metamaterial of gold nanoantennas, Berkeley Lab researchers were able to obtain the strongest signal yet of the photonic spin Hall effect, an optical phenomenon of quantum mechanics that could play a prominent role in the future of computing.

Nurses provide care comparable to that of doctors for resolving health problems of low complexity
A new study has found that Spanish nurses trained specifically to resolve acute health problems of low complexity provide care of comparable quality to that of general practitioners.

GW researcher studies the dangerous effects of cocaine on HIV patients
Mudit Tyagi, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, has received two federally funded grants to study the dangerous effects of cocaine on those living with HIV.

Complementary and alternative medicine studies take center stage at EuroHeart Care
Alternative therapies appear to be used by many patients with beneficial effects.

Obama calls Ben-Gurion U. brain research a 'great idea'
One of the research showcase highlights was MinDestkop, a hands-free, thought-controlled computer developed by three BGU graduate students.

Research explores links between physical and emotional pain relief
Though we all desire relief -- from stress, work, or pain -- little is known about the specific emotions underlying relief.

Park amenities differ according to income of neighborhoods
A University of Missouri researcher has found that while more parks exist in lower-income neighborhoods, they tend to be less attractive than parks in upper- and middle-class neighborhoods, which have more amenities and are more visually pleasing.

Functional characteristics of antitumor T cells change w increasing time after therapeutic transfer
Beneficial effect of genetically engineered antitumor T cells was transient.

Stayin' alive -- delivering resuscitation messages to the public
Four out of five cardiac arrests happen at home, and unless the public are trained in resuscitation many people die before emergency services get to them.

Findings to help in design of drugs against virus causing childhood illnesses
New research findings may help scientists design drugs to treat a virus infection that causes potentially fatal brain swelling and paralysis in children.The virus, called enterovirus 71, causes hand, foot and mouth disease, and is common throughout the world.

Banning food ads targeted at kids
University of Alberta researchers among Canadian obesity experts calling for restrictions on food and beverage marketing.

Enzymes allow DNA to swap information with exotic molecules
John Chaput, a researcher at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute has been hunting for a biological Rosetta Stone -- an enzyme allowing DNA's 4-letter language to be written into a simpler (and potentially more ancient) molecule that may have existed as a genetic pathway to DNA and RNA in the prebiotic world.

UF fossil bird study on extinction patterns could help today's conservation efforts
A new University of Florida study of nearly 5,000 Haiti bird fossils shows contrary to a commonly held theory, human arrival 6,000 years ago didn't cause the island's birds to die simultaneously.

Reward linked to image is enough to activate brain's visual cortex
Once rhesus monkeys learn to associate a picture with a reward, the reward by itself becomes enough to alter the activity in the monkeys' visual cortex.

Study reveals potential treatments for Ebola and a range of other deadly viruses
Illnesses caused by many of the world's most deadly viruses cannot be effectively treated with existing drugs or vaccines.

ACMG releases report on incidental findings in clinical exome and genome sequencing
The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) released the widely-anticipated

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers study use of dasatinib for patients with high-risk MDS
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center have completed a phase II clinical trial to determine the safety and efficacy of dasatinib for patients with higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, or acute myeloid leukemia resulting from MDS and have failed treatment with azanucleosides.

UC Davis study calls for research on the efficacy and safety of vena cava filters
An evaluation of practice patterns in California hospitals showed a large variation in the use of metal devices called inferior vena cava filters, or VCFs, despite little evidence of their safety and effectiveness.

DFG establishes 13 new priority programs
Topics range from the German labor market in a globalized world to non-coding molecules, from microswimmers to meta-stable materials / funding amounts to 64 million Euros.

Planck's new map brings universe into focus
The Planck space mission has today (Mar. 21) released the most accurate and detailed map ever made of the oldest light in the universe.

Quantum computers counting on carbon nanotubes
Carbon nanotubes can be used as quantum bits for quantum computers.

Study reveals how serotonin receptors can shape drug effects from LSD to migraine medication
A team including scientists from the Scripps Research Institute, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Chinese Academy of Sciences has determined and analyzed the high-resolution atomic structures of two kinds of human serotonin receptor.

Education for kidney failure patients may improve chances living donor transplantation
Patients who began a transplant evaluation process with a greater knowledge of transplantation and greater motivation to receive living donor transplants were ultimately more successful at receiving a living donor transplant.

Dr. Roger D. Weiss earns Hazelden's Dan Anderson Research Award
Hazelden's Butler Center for Research has awarded Roger D. Weiss, M.D., Chief of the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, its latest

Common antibiotic linked to heart problems in patients with lung conditions
The antibiotic clarithromycin -- widely used for treating lower respiratory tract infections like pneumonia and acute exacerbations (sudden worsening) of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease -- may be associated with an increased risk of heart problems, finds a study published on today.

LA BioMed researcher receives highest honor in field
Dr. Christina Wang, LA BioMed lead researcher, receives The Distinguished Andrologist Award for 2013.

World's biggest study of food allergies gets underway
Up to 20 million European citizens suffer from food allergy.

Japanese researchers identify a protein linked to the exacerbation of COPD
Researchers from the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute and Nippon Medical School in Japan have identified a protein likely to be involved in the exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

UCLA, Caltech research on immune-cell therapy could strengthen promising melanoma treatment
UCLA and Caltech scientists have used newly developed nanotechnology chips (multidimensional and multiplexed immune monitoring assays) to successfully monitor T cells genetically engineered to attack melanoma.

Breakthrough could lead to cheaper, more sustainable chemical production
A new advance could enable the production of an important commodity chemical using CO2 as a carbon source instead of petroleum.

Stone ships show signs of maritime network in Baltic Sea region 3,000 years ago
In the middle of the Bronze Age, around 1000 BC, the amount of metal objects increased dramatically in the Baltic Sea region.

Government decision to promote abstinence for drug users 'is about saving money not science'
The UK government's decision to promote abstinence for drug users

Acting out dreams linked to development of dementia, Mayo Clinic study finds
The strongest predictor of whether a man is developing dementia with Lewy bodies -- the second most common form of dementia in the elderly -- is whether he acts out his dreams while sleeping, Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered.

ASU Biodesign Institute scientists develop innovative twists to DNA nanotechnology
In a new discovery that represents a major step in solving a critical design challenge, Arizona State University Professor Hao Yan has led a research team to produce a wide variety of 2-D and 3-D structures that push the boundaries of the burgeoning field of DNA nanotechnology.

Electrical engineering professor's research finds more space on cell phone spectrum
A UT Arlington electrical engineering professor is developing a system in a cell phone could automatically locate available space within a bandwidth, reducing or eliminating

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation announces spring 2013 conference & free webinars
The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation presents a conference in Los Angeles on April 30, 2013 and a free series of webinars for the public, families and individuals living with mental illness and mental health professionals.

Study outlines risk factors for poor outcome, mortality following hip fracture
A new study, presented today at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, identifies predictors of complications and mortality following a hip fracture, including dialysis, cardiac disease, diabetes, and a longer time before surgery -- the only modifiable risk factor when patients are hospitalized.

PRP significantly improves outcomes in tennis elbow patients
Eighty-four percent of patients suffering from chronic tennis elbow (lateral epicondylar tendinopathy) reported significantly less pain and elbow tenderness at six months following platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatment, according to results from the largest, multi-center study, to date, on PRP and tennis elbow, presented today at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Prescription for double-dose algebra proves effective
Ninth-graders in Chicago Public Schools have significantly benefited from double-dose algebra (attending two consecutive periods of the subject) in ways that were not easily observable in its early years of existence.

Global nitrogen availability consistent for past 500 years, linked to carbon levels
Despite humans increasing nitrogen production through industrialization, nitrogen availability in many ecosystems has remained steady for the past 500 years.

What you eat before surgery may affect your recovery
According to a new study, the last few meals before surgery might make a difference in recovery after surgery.

For the first time, recommendations offer guidance about incidental genetic findings
Landmark recommendations on the handling of incidental findings in clinical genome and exome sequencing are being issued from the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG).

Program improves Ph.D. student diversity
In the four years since Brown University established the Initiative to Maximize Student Development in its life sciences Ph.D. programs, enrollment and academic achievement among underrepresented minority students has increased markedly, according to new data published in the journal CBE-Life Sciences Education.

Frontiers announces launch of new open-access journal, Frontiers in Public Health
Frontiers in Public Health is the third journal to be launched as part of Frontiers' drive to branch out into all scientific and medical fields across the academic tree.

Picture this: BMC Ecology image competition winners announced
Ecological process can be complex, but they often have striking visual elements.

Researchers tackle physician challenge of correctly ordering laboratory tests
A new study involving researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine has identified barriers that clinicians face in correctly ordering appropriate laboratory tests and highlights some solutions that may simplify this process and improve patient outcomes.

Technique could help designers predict how legged robots will move on granular surfaces
Using a combination of theory and experiment, researchers have developed a new approach for understanding and predicting how small legged robots -- and potentially also animals -- move on and interact with complex granular materials such as sand.

DOE Joint Genome Institute 8th Annual Meeting on March 26-28, 2013
The 8th Annual Genomics of Energy and Environment Meeting of the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute will be held at the Marriott in Walnut Creek on March 26-28, 2013.

Tecnalia has calculated the carbon footprint of some wines
Tecnalia has calculated the carbon footprint of the Grupo Faustino's eight most representative wines throughout their lifecycle; from the field work right up to the end of the bottle's useful life.

Electrical engineer to provide Navy better radar performance with less data
A UT Arlington electrical engineering professor is working to provide the US Navy a signal processing system that provides better information for radar even though it collects less data.

Discovery could increase efficacy of promising cystic fibrosis drug
University of Missouri researchers believe they have found how Kalydeco (Vx-770), the first drug of its kind to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis, works and how to improve its effectiveness.

NIH study shows people with serious mental illnesses can lose weight
People with serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression can lose weight and keep it off through a modified lifestyle intervention program.

Planck's 'child' universe
The Planck satellite, launched in 2009 by ESA (the European Space Agency) examines the origin of the Universe: after almost three years the data regarding the first fifteen months of observations have finally been published, describing a Universe that is still in its 'child' phase.

Scientists reveal quirky feature of Lyme disease bacteria
Scientists have confirmed that the pathogen that causes Lyme disease -- unlike any other known organism -- can exist without iron, a metal that all other life needs to make proteins and enzymes.

Pain reliever shows anti-viral activity against flu
The over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug naproxen may also exhibit antiviral activity against influenza A virus, according to a team of French scientists.

How can basin rocks recorded formation of Dabie orogen?
The Dabie orogen underwent uplift from hundreds of kilometers deep to the earth's surface in the past.

How fine arts collections were exhibited in the pre-museum times -- a Minnesotan tale
Leo Harris provides a thorough study of the fine arts in Minnesota from 1835 to 1914, achieving a timely and welcome contribution to Minnesota art history and culture.

Eating too much salt led to 2.3 million heart-related deaths worldwide in 2010
Excessive sodium (salt) consumption caused 2.3 million heart-related deaths in the world in 2010.

Energy drinks may increase blood pressure, disturb heart rhythm
Energy drinks may increase blood pressure and disturb the heart's rhythm.

Berkeley Lab scientists read the cosmic writing on the wall
Thanks to a supersensitive space telescope and some sophisticated supercomputing, scientists from the international Planck collaboration have made the closest reading yet of the most ancient story in our universe: The cosmic microwave background.

A closer look at LDCM's first scene
Turning on new satellite instruments is like opening new eyes.

Microalgae could be a profitable source of biodiesel
Dinoflagellate microalgae could be used as a raw material to obtain biodiesel easily and profitably.

'Evolutionary glitch' possible cause of childhood ear infections
Researchers at King's College London have uncovered how the human ear is formed, giving clues as to why children are susceptible to infections such as glue ear.

Exploring the link between traumatic brain injury and people who are homeless
Homeless people and their health care providers need to know more about traumatic brain injuries to help prevent and treat such injuries, a new study has found.

Obesity alone may not affect knee replacement outcome or increase overall complication risk
Obesity alone may not diminish outcomes or increase the risk of complications in total knee replacement patients, according to two research studies presented today at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Optimal ESR and CRP cut-off values based on new criteria for periprosthetic joint infection
Periprothesthetic joint infection (PJI) is the infection of grave concern to the orthopedic community, especially in its increasingly common antibiotic-resistant form.

Scientists identify gene that is consistently altered in obese individuals
Food and environment can chemically alter your gene function and scientists have identified a gene that is consistently altered in obesity.

New method developed to expand blood stem cells for bone marrow transplant
More than 50,000 stem cell transplants are performed each year worldwide.

Knee implants designed specifically for female patients may not improve outcomes
Anatomic differences between male and female knees have resulted in the creation and regular use of gender-specific implants.

Academy scientists receive top honors for long-term research and training initiatives in Mongolia
Dr. Clyde Goulden, a pioneering ecologist and director of the Asia Center of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, has received Mongolia's highest award to foreigners, the Order of the Polar Star.

'Gene Therapy for Human Disease: Clinical Advances and Challenges'
The April issue of Translational Research examines the progress and outlook of gene therapy research, with a specific focus on the clinical applicability of gene therapy today.

Can we treat a 'new' coronary heart disease risk factor?
Heart attack survivors with depression have a markedly increased risk of death or another heart attack.

What's hot and what's not in self-help
In SELF-HELP THAT WORKS, six well-known psychologists and psychiatrists provide insight into the self-help resources that work.

Dysfunction in cerebellar Calcium channel causes motor disorders and epilepsy
A dysfunction of a certain Calcium channel, the so called P/Q-type channel, in neurons of the cerebellum is sufficient to cause different motor diseases as well as a special type of epilepsy.

Harnessing immune cells' adaptability to design an effective HIV vaccine
In infected individuals, HIV mutates rapidly to escape recognition by immune cells.

'Sideline quasars' helped to stifle early galaxy formation, says CU-Boulder study
University of Colorado Boulder astronomers targeting one of the brightest quasars glowing in the universe some 11 billion years ago say

Study offers new way to discover HIV vaccine targets
Researchers from the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard University have now developed a new approach to vaccine design that may allow them to cut off those evolutionary escape routes.

Virginia Tech researchers alter mosquito genome in step toward controlling disease
Virginia Tech scientists used a pair of engineered proteins to cut DNA in a site-specific manner to disrupt a targeted gene in the mosquito genome.

Mapping blank spots in the cheeseboard maze
During learning, novel information is transformed into memory through the processing and encoding of information in neural circuits.

Archerfish get an eye test
A modified version of an eye test used to assess visual acuity in the military has been given to archerfish by scientists to help explain how these remarkable fish are able to accurately spit down tiny insects high above the water's surface.

Low-cost 'cooling cure' would avert brain damage in oxygen-starved babies
When babies are deprived of oxygen before birth, brain damage can occur.

Misregulated genes may have big autism role
A genetic pathway involving proteins in the endosomes of cells appears to be misregulated in the brains of children with autism, according to a newly published statistical analysis in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to